Propane? Anyone?

Discussion in 'Alternative Fuel Forum' started by MOturkey, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,780

    I would never be interested in switching, but after noticing the ads for cash incentives for switching to propane, I'm just wondering if any of you actually run propane powered mowers, and if so, how they are they working out for you?

    I don't believe I've ever actually seen one in use in my area.
  2. ilike2mow

    ilike2mow LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,032

    Do you know where it's become popular in the lawn service market? I've seen no lawn service in my area using propane. Even the golf courses grounds crews don't seem to be using propane.
  3. sbrickhouse89

    sbrickhouse89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    I have a landscape company here in Eastern NC that has switched all Hustler's and Wright's to propane and saved between $12,000 and $15,000 in the past year from fuel savings. (haven't ran exact numbers) Plus we have lengthened oil changes from 50 hours to 100 hours. Don't think we will be going to back to dirty gasoline any time soon.
    TPendagast, KyBluGrass and hort101 like this.
  4. BigDreamsLawn&Landscapes

    BigDreamsLawn&Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    We run propane in Charlotte, NC. I initially purchased the mower because I got an extremely good deal on the mower. I saved alot on fuel when prices were $3.75 a gallon for gasoline and I was only paying $2.49 a gallon for propane. I can get about 1-2 more hours per 2 tanks on my propane than I can on a regular gasoline engine.

    Huge benefit is that it burns so much cleaner. I can easily go 100 hours on an oil change when I normally change around 50 hours. The oil still looks very clean at 100 hours. I do not have to worry about ethanol problems either in the mower.
  5. Cheffy

    Cheffy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    I run to a ferris 60 inch with a briggs. And a gravely 60 in with a generac. The ferris runs very well every day. The gravely is tempermenstral. I have 800 hours on the ferris 2 season s . Just bought the gravely in July and it has 300 hours on it. The ferris is a vapor only system. The gravely is either liquid or vapor. My decisions two switch mainly when gas was 4.20 per gallon. And propane bulk was 1.40 per gallon. This year the numbers were closer. Now gas at 2.80 and propane about 1.75. I still am sold on propane. And the oil is changed at 100 hours. Not 25. I have spent many hours and many dollars trying to keep gas machine running
    I m sick of the garbage fuel ethanol ruining high quality engines that I rely on to make a living . 95% of the propane in the USA is from the USA not over seas . Screw big oil and the war loving people of the middle east .I would prefer to not support the middle eastern people no matter how small my fuel bill might be.
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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
    River and hort101 like this.
  6. AWilsonCreativeServices

    AWilsonCreativeServices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    I too am very interested in this subject. I am a very small operation (x3 0-turns and abt 25 mixed accounts) but have also thought of converting my mini-skid to propane, as it is used probably more than the mowers. Plus I am a supporter of cleaner burning fuel/local& domestic products/being green. A local large mowing outfit that was awarded the big municipal contract runs all propane Exmarks, and I feel certain that helped them clench the deal.
    There is a propane supply company near me that I have spoken with who will supposedly convert my mowers and install a fueling tank for free if I buy either 500 or 1,000 gal from them a year (can't remember which). Their deal is that they peg the price of propane $1 below reg. unleaded gas. When asked abt it, the salesman said that landscapers would be burning the fuel in their "offseason", when it's cheaper, and they would be able to service more customers more months of the year. I fuel my equipment with non-ethanol 90 octane carried by a local oil co, and it'd abt the same price as diesel usually is. Hope some of the above is useful to you.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns Banned
    Messages: 3,845

    Lot's of propane companies in Texas. Have yet to see any in Ar just south of original poster. I'm making the switch next year. Original Poster, why did you say you would never switch? Get lower locked in prices than gasoline, cleaner burning, and every time you see the inside of a propane engine it's clean as a whistle. No carbon build up, cleaner internal engine parts = longer life span. Savings in fuel expenses. Healthier. And you can mow all year with them. In Austin they have "Clean Burning Days" where you can't run gasoline. Think it's a joke. If we ever have another liberal in office, gas engines will continue do be on a down-hill slope.
    JLSLLC likes this.
  8. RDALawns

    RDALawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Texas
    Messages: 1,650

    There is 3 places within 6 miles of me I could get lp gas. If gas prices keep going like they are my next purchase may be a lp gas unit. Lp gas is most expensive in the winter months while we aren't using it. Gas right now is at 2.09 a gallon here rn. No clue about lp gas rn. A unit on lp gas will outlast 1 on pump gas. I think the hp is down a little when using lp. But it would pay off in the long run.
    hort101 likes this.
  9. GoPappy

    GoPappy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,205

    Two huge advantages of propane are (1) it lasts forever and doesn't go bad, and (2) you can buy and store it in large quantities if you have a large propane tank, and can then transfer it from the large tank to a smaller tank mounted on a truck or trailer.
    hort101 likes this.
  10. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,393

    Some misinformation on this thread already. Propane has 28% less energy in a gallon vs gas. Some might say you lose some gas due to carb float bounce so the propane is more efficient. Propane reps say it's 1 to 1 ratio which negates the energy difference, I don't buy it. If you went to fuel injection that 1 to 1 ratio is gone. An example of kawis fd750d which is carbed gets 1.3gph while it's fuel injection counter part fd791d gets 1 gph on the same mower/deck combo. So propane is 1 to 1 at the 1.3 gph, just going fuel injection saves you 30% with out changing anything. Plus you don't loose power. So that covers fuel usage misguidance, facts are facts, when it comes to btus.

    The biggest issue for me is the fuel supply. One poster here nailed the issue. His comment said they have propane a $1 less then gas? Why? It's because they are price fixing to make it somewhat cost savings while they increase their margins. All along the same gallon sold to a house is much less.

    Fueling stations would be handy at the shop but are expensive. Some offer them for nothing but then you need to worry the price games stated above. Tank exchange programs cost a bit per gallon which includes service so I get that.

    To me it seems like the industry is the biggest problem to changing over. Misinformation and pricing games.

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